Chairman Debbie Hancock
What is the Gold Star Program and why do we have It? This special program provides an opportunity to honor ladies who have experienced the Ultimate Sacrifice, death of a loved one during the time of their military service. The Congress of the United States has set the dates and rules for qualification establish-ing Gold Star membership and these are printed in our Unit Handbooks under membership eligibility.
The Department of Illinois chose to recognize this program many years ago and we continue to do so. Those who have lost loved ones understand the feelings families have as the father/mother, husband/wife, son or daughter is deployed and can help provide encouragement and support to them. “Acts of Love” such as this can help ease the minds of those families.
Units are encouraged to search out those who have eligibility for Gold Star membership from all war times (WWI – today) and recruit them as members. This Gold Star chairman will award at Department Convention a cash gift to the Unit signing up the most New Gold Star mothers and members by June 1st. To qualify, the Unit must send a copy of the membership application noting Gold Star Mother/Member at the top and send it to me by June 1st.
Gold Star members deserve our recognition and honor. Whatever and however your Unit wishes to honor them is your choice. The following are a few suggestions – pay their dues, present them with a Gold Star pin and banner; hold a Gold Star Recognition Day where they are recognized and invite women from other organizations to attend; send birthday and holiday remembrances; a special treat would be to take them to Department Convention and pay for their ticket to the dinner held in their honor.
Don’t forget your Unit can submit an entry for the Gold Star Member of the Year and a Unit member can enter the Gold Star Poem Contest also. With a little time and effort, your Unit can help make this a “Gold” winning program.
Remember, Gold Star members have given as much as a “result of loss”, they also have much to give through “ Acts of Love”!!